KEY POINTS

  • Cristiano Ronaldo missed Portugal's Wednesday match after testing positive for COVID-19
  • Goals from Bernardo Silva and Diogo Jota gave Portugal a 3-0 win over Sweden in the Nations League
  • Bruno Fernandes said that the team’s ambition remains the same 

Cristiano Ronaldo testing positive for the coronavirus has not affected the Portugal national team’s intensity on the field.

After Portugal defeated Sweden in their UEFA Nations League matchup Wednesday, midfielder Bruno Fernandes shared that his team’s strategy hasn’t changed even with their star player sidelined. It was a 3-0 victory for the Portuguese, with Diogo Jota’s brace serving as the main highlight of their offense.

“We were not asked to play any differently [without Ronaldo], our ambition remains the same," the Manchester United midfielder told reporters, Goal reported.

Although the squad isn’t letting Ronaldo’s absence affect them, Fernandes admitted that it has still been a challenge to move on without him. The five-time Ballon d’Or winner is Portugal’s biggest icon and has played 167 games for the national team, scoring 101 goals.  

"The team has great values but it is obvious that it is easier to win with the best in the world," Fernandes said.

With Ronaldo sidelined, Portugal can lean on several stars in its roster to step up offensively. Jota is one of these players as he’s proven to be one of the more capable scorers of the team, tallying two goals in the recent win.

​“It was an excellent night, one of my best performances," Jota said. 

"Representing my country for a second time and putting in a performance like this? It was a great result against Sweden and it wasn't easy. We can be proud," he added.

Making his Liverpool debut in September, Jota has made four appearances with the club, tallying one goal. He spent a big portion of his career with the Wolverhampton Wanderers, where he played in 131 games, scored 44 goals and notched 19 assists.

“I think [moving to Liverpool] was the highest moment in my career and today I started again in the national team. I have to do my best," Jota said.

With or without Ronaldo, Portugal remains confident that it is a formidable team in international competitions. The team's next match is on Nov. 11 when Portugal goes up against Andorra.

Cristiano Ronaldo played for Portugal against France on Sunday Cristiano Ronaldo played for Portugal against France on Sunday Photo: AFP / Jonathan NACKSTRAND